Strikes For Members

The transport strikes that will hit travel in Italy in May 2024

The Local Italy
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The transport strikes that will hit travel in Italy in May 2024
Passengers leave Venice's Santa Lucia train station in May 2019. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

People travelling to, from or across Italy may face disruption this month as unions have called multiple walkouts affecting trains and public transport services.


Transport strikes are common during Italy’s spring months, and May is no exception this year as unions representing rail and public transport staff have announced multiple walkouts which may affect the travel plans of both locals and international visitors.

Here's a look at the protests that are expected to cause the greater amount of disruption.

May 1st – Nationwide general strike 

Rail and public transport passengers around the country may face delays and/or cancellations on Wednesday, May 1st (which marks Italy’s Festa del Lavoro, or Labour Day) due to a 24-hour general strike backed by Italy's main trade unions.

The walkout will involve staff from both public and private transport operators at a local, regional and national level.

Besides the rail and public transport sectors, ferry services to and from Italy’s major islands, Sicily and Sardinia, and motorway services may also be affected.

The protest shouldn't affect air transport, according to the latest reports.

May 3rd – Nationwide rail maintenance staff strike

Train passengers around the country may experience disruption on Friday, May 3rd as track maintenance staff at Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), which owns and manages all of Italy’s railway network, plan to strike for 24 hours. 

The protest may impact both regional trains and long-distance services operated by Trenitalia and Italo.


May 4th-5th – National rail staff strike

Passengers travelling across Italy by train may face delays or cancellations over the first weekend of the month as staff at state-owned railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato, which includes Trenitalia, Trenord, and Trenitalia Tper, plan to strike from 9pm on Saturday, May 4th to 9pm on Sunday, May 5th.

The planned walkout is expected to affect all types of rail travel, from long-distance services to regional and local ones, with the overall level of disruption expected to vary by city and operator.

May 6th – Nationwide public transport strike 

Public transport passengers may face delays and/or cancellations on Monday, May 6th as staff at bus, tram and subway operators around the country plan to strike for 24 hours. 

The timing and impact of the strike, which is backed by USB – one of Italy’s main transport unions – will vary from city to city, with further information on guaranteed services expected to become available closer to the date of the walkout.

May 12th – Air traffic controllers’ strike at Malpensa airport

Passengers flying to or from Milan’s Malpensa airport may face delays and/or cancellations on  Sunday, May 12th as staff from air traffic control agency Enav plan to strike from 1pm to 5pm.

Detailed information on guaranteed flights is expected to be released on Enav’s website closer to the date of the walkout.


May 19th – Nationwide rail strike

Train passengers across Italy were expected to face delays and/or cancellations on Sunday, May 19th as staff at state-owned railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato – which includes Trenitalia, Trenord and Trenitalia Tper – and private company Italo planned a 23-hour walkout.

But the strike was postponed to a future date on Thursday, May 16th following an injunction from Italy's Transport Ministry which cited concerns that the protest may have resulted in “major repercussions and public order and safety issues” at the Emilia Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix.

READ ALSO: Italy's national train strike on Sunday postponed after government order

There is currently no detail as to when the walkout will take place.

May 21st – Nationwide taxi drivers' strike

Cab services around the country may be significantly limited on Tuesday, May 21st as taxi drivers plan to strike from 8am to 10pm, for a total of 14 hours.

The protest, which is backed by some of Italy's largest trade unions, was called on May 10th in protest against a proposed reform of the taxi sector aimed at reducing long-standing cab shortages around the country.

There are currently no details as to how many drivers will participate in the walkout, but anyone planning to use taxi services on the day should be prepared to find alternative transportation.

Local strikes

A number of smaller regional and local walkouts have also been announced for the coming weeks. A full list can be found on the Italian Transport Ministry’s website

How bad are strikes in Italy?

Strikes in Italy are frequent but not all of them cause significant disruption for travellers.


The severity of disruption caused by any strike in the country largely depends on how many staff in any part of the transport sector decide to participate.

And, even in the case of highly disruptive strikes, some essential services (or servizi minimi) are guaranteed to run at peak times. This goes for all transport sectors, from local public transport to rail and air travel.

Keep up with all the latest updates in our strike news section.


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